Monday, July 21, 2008

Enjoying the Summer

Hope you're enjoying all your picnic foods!

For me, one of the most exciting parts of the summer months are all the fresh foods available in my community. We're surrounded by healthy, organic farms that are treating the community, the Earth, their workers and their crops with love. It makes a huge difference in the outcome, if you ask me. The berries couldn't be sweeter and the vegetables are so ripe and juicy. I can't stop thinking about new ways to put the most amazing ingredients together in new and delicious ways.

Recently we tried the apricot tart from Everyday Foods (one of the most wonderful cooking magazines delivered to my door!). After a few minutes of nervous whisking over medium heat the corn starch did it's magic and I was left with a creamy custard (Whew!). I threw some organic blueberries on just because I saw them in the drawer.

The outcome was a big hit at dinner that night. I have to mention that I wasn't expecting the tart filling to be really custard-like. It tasted more like what you would find in a coconut cream pie. I was thinking more vanilla pudding. I think I'd prefer something a little bit lighter next time.

Sophia enjoyed licking the spoon....

I know that the warm summer months aren't typically spend baking bread but at my recent (childless!!!) trip to the local library I picked up "Artisan Breads in Five Minutes a Day" and have been baking bread daily ever since.

I can't rave loud or long enough about what an amazing book this is. It came highly recommended and I pass on the wisdom to you. There is even an informative website to accompany the book!! (Kate, don't rush out to buy it just yet!)

This was my very first loaf. Since then we've broken out Geo's baking stone and the loaves have become bigger and crustier and packed full of herbs.
And what goes with freshly baked bread? How about some delicious jam??


Katie said...

yum! that jam looks delicious, and I guess the tart and bread look ok too;-)!!

and while you're baking bread, I'm knitting away on some warm, wooly sweaters, give us summer and we prepare for winter!

Jeff Hertzberg said...

Thanks for trying our book, Nicole(I’m one of the co-authors)! Come visit us at our website/blog (, where you can post questions into any “Comments” field, or by clicking on “Bread Questions” on the left side of the home page and choosing an option from there. We answer pretty quickly.

Jeff Hertzberg